Throughout the Western World, there seems to be a shared belief amongst many governments about how to manage Covid. Their policies have repeatedly proven to be abject failures yet they keep on doing the same things over & over, expecting different results.
A brilliant podcast out of the UK is called Planet Normal. On their most recent episode, they read a letter from a woman named Sarah. Does it hit any chords with you?
Thanks for providing me with laughter, tears, and reason this year. You’ve interviewed some inspirational people and, strengthened by them and both of you, I have found my voice. I’ve started writing to express my feelings about this whole awful lockdown situation. And for the first time since the poll tax, I’ve joined a demonstration. Some 500 of us marched through Bournemouth last Saturday to the bemusement of some Christmas shoppers. We were there for many and varied reasons. It was peaceful, if a little noisy. The policing was light touch and the press coverage was even lighter. My reasons for going on the march are not easily summarized but I wrote a short article after I’d attended.
Why am I here? I’m here for the children whose lives may be permanently marred by the masks, the disruptive schooling, the exposure to abuse and the fear that’s been instilled in them. The babies with impaired development because they’ve not been in contact with other people and learned to read faces. I’m here for the working classes, the folk who have continued to work while others have cozied up on their sofa with their laptops: the refuse collectors, the shop workers, the delivery drivers, the care home workers, the engineers that have kept electricity, gas, and water flowing – ordinary people working in extraordinary circumstances. I’m here for the 50,000+ undiagnosed cancers and the people waiting for much needed surgery, for all the parents stuck at home educating their children in small flats or trying to hold down jobs. I’m here for all the parents with special needs kids, who have cared for them when they should have had some relief by sending them to school; the same special needs children whose mental and physical well being has deteriorated from a lack of social and physical therapy and stimulation. I’m here for the women who have had to go through labour and sometimes birth alone, or receive heartbreaking news about their unborn children as they’ve attended scans all alone. I’m here for those that took their own lives as they couldn’t bear the loneliness and isolation, for those denied the right to communal worship, taking solace and comfort with others. I’m here for those who spent last Christmas alone and watched their relatives’ last moments on a mobile phone whilst Whitehall partied, for the men, women, and children forced to stay inside with their abusers, for the elderly in care homes confused by the absence of family and friends that once visited them. I’m here for the people who’ve lost their jobs, for businesses that have closed and may still close: families and lives that may never recover. I’m here for the students whose higher education dream turned into a dystopia of Zoom lectures and confinement to residence halls. I’m here for all the single men whose pints in the pub was their lifeline; for many, the only time in the day they had conversation and company. And I’m here because I care about my freedom, your freedom, and that of the whole human race. I’m here because I’m angry, human, and because I care.